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Clifford B. WestEdvard Munch: Graphics, Watercolors, Drawings, and Sculpture (1968)

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Born in 1863, the Norwegian artist watched his mother and sister succumb to tuberculosis by the time he was fourteen, leaving him with a deep foreboding of death, which colored his early canvases and works on paper. Munch was also haunted by the spectre of beautiful women, who he portrayed as vampires or dominant sexual forces, and characterized his perspective on new artistic technology by stating: "The camera cannot compete with the brush and the palette so long as it cannot be used in heaven or hell." Here, West looks at drypoints, etchings, engravings, lithographs, and woodcuts, providing examples from the artist’s oeuvre, and, just as importantly from the perspective of the learner, explains how, mechanically, these works are created. Most impressive are the woodcuts, and the four-stone, four color lithographs. Of the 700 or so graphic images created in the artist’s lifetime, we explore some of the more significant, including ‘The Scream’, ‘ Madonna’, ‘Three Stages of Women’, and ‘Vampire’; West juxtaposes different versions of the work, often transposing one version over another. During the making of this film, West was guided by Munch scholar Bente Torjusen, who collaborated with him on the making of several other films, as well as two daughters. For more information on filmmaker Clifford B. West, visit

This movie is part of the collection: Academic Film Archive of North America

Director: Clifford B. West
Producer: Clifford B West
Production Company: Clifford B. West
Sponsor: Barbara & David Roby, Bente Torjusen
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Keywords: Edvard Munch; painter

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